Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 11, 2014 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT

2:00 pm
we testified back in may. i think it was senator coburn who asked a question about what are the biggest obstacles to financial auditability and depaf defense, and my answer was the enterprise resource planning systems. it is really a data availability question in my mind. that comes down to timeliness and resources dedicated to the honest -- audit. if you are an auditor and you have audited an entity or enterprise for a number of years and you have reviewed their internal controls and you have confidence of those controls, consequently you can have this in the reports and you spend less time perhaps auditing and it is a more efficient process. we are not there yet department of defense. so an audit is a very laborious activity. it takes lots of time for us.
2:01 pm
i think if i recall, you agree with me when i said that. it is a big effort. the goal was pointy 17 for auditability at the department of defense. is we can do as the auditor to help them reach that to the extent we can and be independent , but at the end of the day, financial statements are the responsibility of management. auditors job to protest to those financial statements and it's an uphill job right now. >> thank you, mr. rymer, that tic. -- fdic. >> i see you now. >> i was going to ask you about your insights, since you have been at dod, about the audit readiness. i know in statute they should be
2:02 pm
ready by 2017, which you have addressed already. i wanted you to compare and contrast, having been the igate patni fdic versus the dod, but also, mr. roth came from doj. i know he was not aig there, but maybe he could compare and contrast about each organization, dhs urges doj, and for both of you, probably addressing whether or not there is any tension between the dual reporting responsibility that both within the executive branch and to the congress? thank you. >> great question. a multiple part question. that's a good one. i will start with some of the differences comparing and contrasting between dod and
2:03 pm
fdic. the most obvious thing is the relative size. fdic, when i got there was a billion-dollar enterprise. it is a little larger now post financial crisis. 500-plus billion dollars. so the scale itself is vastly different. at fdicer of employees is somewhere around 8000 or so. at this point, dod is 3.2 million people. that is a big deal. i think those 3.2 million people , by and large, behave properly, do everything they should, but you have a population that large, there are folks that don't and make mistakes. consequently, something that i have not had much experience sec wast fdic and administrative investigations.
2:04 pm
that is a much bigger activity for the ig and dod then probably most other organizations in the federal government, probably because of the size. dedicatedout 85 folks to investigations of senior officials and whistleblower reprisal investigations. so it's a relatively big is this for us. those two types of investigations. we work hand-in-hand with the uniform services on the ig side. that is an interesting relationship we have. it comes into focus most when we are working on senior official investigations. uniform the ig's will conduct investigations of oaks within the army, navy, air force, marines, up to the grade of their senior officials, what they define as current promotable, brigadier general and lieutenant general.
2:05 pm
those 6, 7, and eight will investigate officials themselves for administrative issues. then our office will provide oversight and independent review of that investigation. the more senior officials, the lieutenant general and generals, residential appointees, ses, those fall directly to us, the oig for investigation, and we investigate those. said, that is a fairly big activity for us. whistleblower reprisal investigations. we investigate those as well. that is something we take very seriously, whistleblower reprisal investigations. i think the big difference is the scope and size, the scale. it is a lot here. john, what i would face
2:06 pm
occasionally at the fdic, i face daily at dod. cop problems, but the good news is, i have a seasoned staff to help me. maybe you can help us with the rest of the question? dual reporting. i wrote it down. >> glad you did. do will reporting. just like everything else in the system, the framers were brilliant in creating natural tensions between activities. dual reporting, although the ig act did not exist when the constitution was drafted, certainly, it has the same qualities. it creates a certain amount of tension, good tension for the public. tough tension if you are the ig and you have to walk the line between the expectations of the agency you work for and the expectations of congress.
2:07 pm
mps.ave a foot in both ca that is where, i think, the issues of integrity are critical. you have to do things the same way every time when you are releasing information to the congress or to the department. the first time you don't, they will remember it and catch you the next time. you have to be consistent and you have to be fair. you certainly cannot favor one side or the other. sometimes that is tough. you will be pulled in both directions. that is part of the natural tension that makes the ig system work. as i said, good for the public, but tough on the ig. that's exactly right, there is that creative tension that occurs. it is also there for a reason. frankly, we do not run the agencies where work for. we writee them,
2:08 pm
reports, but it is up to the heads of the agencies to implement those reports are not. the fact that we have this dual reporting is extraordinarily helpful in making sure the issues get a certain amount of ventilation, the certain amount of truth to power, to an audience that has something to say about it, which is the congress. while it is a very complicated thing, and we can guarantee that somebody will be mad at us on any given day, whether in congress or in the administration, it is useful and has made the id act as good as it has been, a model or how we should work through these things. with regard to your question isut doj versus dhs, dhs unique because it is a new agency that was brought together from a number of disparate roles and missions. fema, andn one hand, then you have something on the
2:09 pm
postcard, which has the usual maritime responsibilities but also a homeland security kind of responsibility. a u.s. citizen immigration services, people that bring people into the country as citizens, and you have immigrations customs , who keept, cbp people out. so there is a broad range of different kinds of things that dhs does. bringing all of those folks together in some kind of unity of effort has been the singular challenge of dhs, one of the things that we work on continuously. trying to highlight areas where we can create efficiencies by working together. there are a number of examples in the audit reports we have done which i like this kind of work. -- highlight this kind of work.
2:10 pm
one constant in today's world is change. with change comes a lot of new technologies. you have extensive experience from other organizations. what do you see for the future in terms of changes in the next five years? mentioned we have a couple of initiatives underway in our office. it could be done better, faster, cheaper. let's look for opportunities for efficiency. it is often easy to identify those. the challenge is the execution, project management, quantification of savings to be able to, in some cases, continue to invest in technology and solve problems. i think it's important for every organization to take some time
2:11 pm
and take some time all the time, to look internally. if you don't work in the government or an ig office, if you work in an accounting firm it wasow when i did, very much about working on behalf of the client, working -- people youal work for, i'm sorry. working for the outside. there was often not a lot of time taken to look inside. how can we do things better in our own office? in then find ourselves position of recommending efficiency processes for auditees, when we could use some of those efficiencies ourselves. one of the things we are doing, i mentioned the joint relationship we have with senior official investigation with uniformed services. that is a process right now that
2:12 pm
is fairly labor-intensive. although uniformed services have their own administrative investigation software, their own database, their own way of keeping records. of tryingthe process to standardize that within the department. if we are successful within the next two or three years, conceivably, we could take a hotline complaint in our office, something that we do about 17,000 times a year. and those complaints are looktially triaged and we or the responsible ig to call into question with the complaint. often those complaints are sent to the military services or to other agencies within the department. through at goes recapturing of data that we have captured electronically, and then is sent to another system.
2:13 pm
we have inherent inefficiencies in some of that. we are to the point of being able to transmit an entire case file with one keystroke. that will be a big deal for us. those are the kinds of things we're looking at efficiency wise. goingf the same efforts on in our criminal investigative case management system, as well as in audits. i think there are many opportunities to be more efficient through the expanded use of technology. interoperability , even within the department of defense. for us to be able to rapidly exchange data with another office is, i think, throughout government, a key challenge. we have that within the department just within the ig disciplined in the department.
2:14 pm
you can imagine how rampant it is otherwise. >> [inaudible] 1540 staff, i have about federal civilians, 100 contractors, about 30 or so military officers and ncos assigned to us. i have approximately 725, so about half of what mr. rymer's staff is. to answer the question about what the future holds, one of the things that will be with us for the foreseeable future is a declining budget environment. frankly, that is an opportunity for the ig community to step up. there is always this old adage of doing more with less, which is simply a bromide, unless you can tell people how it is they can do more with less. that is where the ig comes in, to suggest efficiencies, cut out
2:15 pm
waste, to do the kinds of things that are the ig's bread and butter will make them more important in a declining budget environment than it would otherwise be. and then the rate of change will continue to increase. continual learning and improvement of what mr. rymer talked about with regards to processes in place. always look to processes to see if you can improve them, and with your personnel, you have to train them. in five years, i have no idea what the future will hold but it is good to have folks trained to be able to adapt to changing circumstances. >> both of you have a sense of experience,- external audits, extensive experience in the financial services sector dealing with waste, fraud, and abuse. as the war on terror goes on and
2:16 pm
there is more money being moved along electronically, how do you see that impacting your oversight response to these with the inspector general? it is havingll, folks that understand those systems, understanding how those processes work. professional competency is a big deal. if we do not have the right staff, we will not be able to track that. it is a complicated matter. i think we have built just for tracking money but we are much more reliant now on technology within criminal investigative units and audit units than in the past. it is keeping up with technology the best you can. also, auditing the agencies within your purview to see that they are doing the same thing.
2:17 pm
when i was on the 9/11 was asion, what we found failure to understand that the that had moved on in ways was becoming greater sophistication, but we did not understand the terrorist threat was involving. certainly in our oversight, we have to understand the agencies need to keep pace with these kinds of rapid developments. 10 more minutes. anymore questions from the audience? >> i have heard a couple of [inaudible] how do we measure, how can receive the results of these mechanisms?
2:18 pm
it is not always dollars. how do we prove what we are saying, being proactive rather than reactive? thehe first part of question, on these nontraditional reporting kinds of things, how do we measure effectiveness, how do we measure our results? >> that is a fundamental issue when it comes to traditional audits and not. what we are statutorily obligated to talk about the money, the cost, which is in the ig act. we are obligated to report 36 months. how do you measure effectiveness in the government as a whole is a difficult thing. we have certain measures of effectiveness that when we put out and publish what we are doing, i think there needs to be work done on those because a lot of it is quantitative. i understand the need to have some sort of measurement of what , itdo, but in some ways
2:19 pm
fails to look at the qualitative measures because certain suggestions we could have could have been measurable impact on efficiency or the safety of the american people. how do you measure that? that is a tough nut to crack. that is one of the questions we are trying to solve internally as we go forward. the week during the course of the two wars, we got letters of concern to commanders in the field. that was really an abbreviated audit. when you are in the field and folks are at risk either because of processes or equipment that does not work, or equipment not reaching in time, we would issue letters of concern.
2:20 pm
to me, the effectiveness of the weress was how quickly those letters of concern and acted upon by commanders in the field. i cannot put a dollar amount to that, but if we were in a situation where we were it would to point out a deficiency in supply, training, managing a commander. see it, i'm going to fix it today. that is a win. that is how i would measure it. haveny federal ig's overlapping jurisdiction with federal auditors. what efforts are you making to coordinate work with those entities? let me speak to that first.
2:21 pm
--re are several entities, john and i are very active. they have a role in sharing information, what we are working on, working on joint projects. to dod,that, specific our efforts in southwest asia, we have a well-organized and well functioning southwest asia coordination group where we bring all of the folks in the business of oversight in afghanistan together. actually, we will have a quarterly meeting the week after next. --are looking at auto plants plans for different agencies. i will try to name them.
2:22 pm
in southwest asia, coordination activity we have the special is director general for afghan activity, dod department of and i usaid, gao, apologize if i missed one or two. come together and we talk about a conference of oversight land, to conflict that. particularly within the federal community, one of the things i was encouraged with were these joint inspections that we have done. my first week on the job, we were in the process of rolling out a joint report on the boston marathon bombing and the intelligence community's actions regarding that. doj ig, the ig, dhs,
2:23 pm
all of whom had a piece of this, and could have been separate reports but would not have been done in a complete way. the inspector general got everyone together pursuant to some directions from the white house, to see if we could put a joint report together. i think that process worked terrifically. there are a number of other circumstances that we can work around and audit generally. >> those are two examples. entities i was a part of the office of inspector general oversight. that is a part of dodd frank. in the law, that requires the agencies in the financial oversight business, for those ig's to come together and talk about reports and do some joint work.
2:24 pm
a growing understanding, starting to see some of it in legislation. there is a need of coordination between ig's. get inxperience, when we the same room, we have more oversight to do then resources to accomplish it. it is not very often that there are jurisdictional squabbles. jurisdiction is broad enough for all of us. we just need to sit down and say i have this link, you have that lane, and let's move out. i think we do a pretty good job of that, but it could always be better. time for two more questions. >> phenomenal job. please give our guest a round of applause. [applause]
2:25 pm
the session code word is add ict. i want to thank the virtual listeners and everyone else attending the session. have a good day. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014]
2:26 pm
>> at about 2:50, we will return to live coverage of the american institute of accounted. this afternoon, a discussion about management and budget. 2:30, we plan at to go live to the pentagon. live pictures here, and update on the situation in iraq. diplomatically, the country elected a new president and a new prime minister was elected to replace nouri al-maliki. militarily, the u.s. has been providing weapons to kurdish
2:27 pm
forces and is starting to make gains against islamic militants in northern iraq, according to u.s. senior officials today. we will have more on that in the white house press briefing 2:30 again, that anti-gun briefing coming up with a pentagon spokesperson coming up that 2:30. as we get closer, a look at the response of the u.s. in iraq from a reporter. news pentagon correspondent joining us by phone. good morning. caller: good morning. host: we want to start with baghdad. to beingf terms like
2:28 pm
thrown around. what is happening in that city? caller: the reports are very fragmented. there is not a lot of major news organization coverage because major news organizations don't have a major presence there at the moment. it is confusing but it will add to the notion that the iraqi government is not waiting for focusupport and we should on aiding the kurds. clearly malik he is holding on and that will strengthen the resist's of u.s. citizens and we -- strengthen the resistance of u.s. lawmakers. you say he is waiting out the legal deadline to form a new government. can you explain what is happening there and what the legal status is? caller: it is very unclear.
2:29 pm
parliament was meeting this weekend. decision laid the out in the recent elections. this timetable was endorsed by millions of iraqis. you get the sense that this is a final thumb your nose at the sunni population, the united states -- a defiant guy who has been a good ally of ours for number of years, but these may be his final throes of resistance, his final way of not going quietly into the night. it has military and political implications. --host:cappaccio anthony cappaccio, where are the strikes, what are they talk -- targeting now? caller: the strikes of petered out. we have not had announcements and yesterday morning.
2:30 pm
it looks like seven or eight different strikes. they put out these announcements, but you have to listen to them carefully. they put out a series of different strikes in the northern area. is mys pretty interesting sources are telling me that 90 to 100 planes are circling sorties,th various tankers, navy, and air force aircraft looking for targets of opportunity. releases so far have been talking about hitting individual target. mortar positions, artillery trucks, telling you that the united states is a pretty good teacher of what is on the ground. of it is such that they ca >> we will leave this interview
2:31 pm
to get the latest on iraq with the tenor in general mayfield. today to give you an update on operations in iraq. we are working with friends and partners and allies to protect u.s. personnel and to avert humanitarian problems we are seeing right now in iraq. good afternoon. thank you all for being here. i like to update you on u.s. operations in iraq since august 7. last errors day, at the request of the iraqi government, the president ordered the united states military to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees in northern iraq and to conduct airstrikes to protect u.s. citizens and forces in and around rbl. beganrsday, aircrews
2:32 pm
coordinating series of humanitarian assistance airdrop missions to provide aid to the refugees. nights, u.s. four and u.k. aircrews have flown 14 successful missions, dropping more than 310 bundles of food, water, and medical supplies, delivering almost 60,000 gallons of water and 75,000 meals. with our military partners, the u.s. military is responding to the united nations security request and international community to do everything it can to provide food, water, shelter, to those affected by this unitary crisis. president also authorize targeted airstrikes to facilitate a resolution to the humanitarian crisis on the mountain and to protect citizens , facilities, and forces in the northern city of erbil.
2:33 pm
this includes u.s. aircraft which have executed 15 targeted airstrikes. these are strings have up to check the advance of missile forces in the area west of erbil . over 60 reconnaissance aircraft are doing coalition efforts in iraq. u.s. airstrikes are also providing the kurdish security forces with time to fortify their defensive positions with the supply they are receiving from the central government of baghdad. as a result, kurdish security forces are holding territory in the city of erbil and as has been reported in the media, they retook key communities near erbil itself. [inaudible] airstrikes in iraq have slowed operational tempo, and temporarily disrupted their advances for the province of erbil.
2:34 pm
however, these strikes are is-kely to affect my sil's isil's efforts in iraq. this will sustain attacks against iraqi and kurdish security forces and their positions as well as target minorities. our current operations are limited in scope to protect u.s. citizens and facilities, to protect u.s. aircraft supporting humanitarian assistance and to isilt in the breakup of forces that have laid siege to the mountains. with that, i'll stop and take questions. >> secretary hagel said today that isil posed a threat to the civilized world, and certainly and given that, people
2:35 pm
want to know whether the u.s. military can make efforts to degrade isil's command and control, are leaders being targeted, are there the just occult loves in iraq and syria going to be targeted? >> we have been very clear about the threat of isil forces to iraq into the region. date, whatal task to we are doing right now is to protect the u.s. facilities and the citizens, american citizens at those facilities. to protect u.s. aircraft supporting our humanitarian assistance around the mountain, and to target those isil positions that are laying siege. there are no plans to expand the
2:36 pm
current air campaign beyond the current self-defense activities. >> [inaudible] it has been reported the u.s. government is directly arming the kurds. is the dod playing a role in those operations, will it? >> i saw that report in the media. over the weekend, it was the government of iraq and iraq he security forces that provided immediate resupply to kurdish forces. we are looking at how we can help them and studying the challenges ahead with the team that we have in baghdad providing assistance. we are looking at plans on how to expand that support. over the weekend, president obama said he was considering creating some kind of safe court thosecorridor to assist refugees on top of the mountains
2:37 pm
. he said he spoke to the british and french about that response ability. he also called it complicated. just how complicated would it be, would it require boots on the ground, would there be u.s. boots on the ground? >> the challenge we are facing right now, we are currently assessing the mccann and cannot do, try to understand the numbers on the mountain itself. of numbers reports in the thousands, reports of numbers in the tens of thousands. what is most important right now is that we deliver the much needed water, shelter, and food to those granted on the mountain. next, weat we might do will have to wait and see and get a better assessment on the ground before we can offer some options to the president. corridor,ting a safe
2:38 pm
under those conditions, without american boots on the ground, is that possible? , you is planning underway are looking at it, are you? >> right now, we are gripped by the immediacy of the crisis and our focus is to provide immediate relief to those suffering. we are looking at the effect we are having on those fixed thatle sites, isil sites are laying siege, and we are trying to reduce that threat. for the third time -- near term, that will be our focus. >> if you do not have a plan to get them off the mountain, to bring them to a refugee camp, you do not bring them down? >> we need a better understanding of what is going on. we are assessing the situation. in terms of the support we have received over the weekend, we
2:39 pm
have been contacted by many of our friends, as i mentioned in my opening remarks, the french and the u.k. have joined us. of course, we are enjoying support from the region. increasingly, we are expanding the number of folks involved with this immediate crisis. it is a little bit too early to stand here today and give you very specific plans. >> could you talk about the level of effort with the air campaign? we were told last week it was 50. my understanding is you have ratcheted up to about 100 overall. the preponderance in northern iraq, but also strike drones and cargo. is it about 100 a day now, up from 50? >> a ballpark figure is between 50 and 60. is tost immediate task
2:40 pm
understand what's happening at themoment, to understand complexity of the challenge, humanitarian assistance, dealing with this huge crisis, is going to require. we are also trying to assess the security of our key facilities, both in baghdad and erbil. and we continue to use our intelligence to characterize the threat posed by isil forces in the region. >> in layman's language, for those watching, how are you looking at this, are you looking at what you have destroyed? the number of vehicles we strike, the sack -- the exact number, the battle damage assessment, the number of things that we have is less important than the affect, which is to reduce the threat that could
2:41 pm
impact our facilities and citizens and to make sure we reduce the effects of those laying siege to mount sinjar. >> [inaudible] science ever treat or panicking -- >> isil forces? where we have targeted our strengths, we have a temporary effect. we may have blunted some tactical decisions to move in those directions, further east to erbil. to do is tot isil look for other things, to pick up and move elsewhere. in no way do i want to suggest that we have effectively contained, or that we are somehow breaking the momentum posed by isil. >> can become back to security on the mountains? fundamentally, what is your assessment, while you look at
2:42 pm
all of this and try to see what you are dealing with? how much time do these people have before they run out of time? question number one. we understand you are flying drones over the mountains to try to get a picture, but even today, a crew was on board and iraqi kurdish helicopter going into bringing relief. they were shot at by isis on the way in and the way out here to clearly, isis still has capability to attack the mountain. why not more air strikes against them? >> in terms of time, we have afforded a little bit more time to the crisis with the success of our humanitarian assistance thus far. but the urgency of the crisis has not gone away. it's very important that we find a solution for those stranded up there. >> [inaudible] >> it is hard for me today to ,ell you exactly that timeline
2:43 pm
but you do .2 what is very important, that we need to continue to assess the situation. we need to assess the humanitarian assistance and protect that effort. with regards to the targets, one of the things that we have seen with the isil forces is where they had been in the open, they are now starting to dissipate and hide amongst the people we read so the targeting of this, of those forces trying to trying to affect the siege around the mountain, the targeting will become more difficult. so it does not surprise me that an iraqi security force attempting to resupply, which in and of itself is no small task, and shows you the iraqi security forces are very much involved in this effort, but it does not surprise me that there will be small arms fire during the
2:44 pm
ingress of those aircraft or the egress, just because of the way that isil formations are moving around. >> [inaudible] even though it may become more difficult, more targeting? dowe will do what we need to to protect our facilities, protect our embassy, to protect our american citizens, and to reduce the siege, as well as to protect those aircraft providing support to mount sinjar. >> what kind of weapons are you looking at possibly giving to the kurds and why the shift in policy? why can't the government in baghdad to the resupply? the government has been resupplying, over the weekend and last week as well. but the equipment and he ammunitions -- small arms ammunition -- that the kurdish
2:45 pm
security forces need is pretty substantial. so we want to help them with that effort. in terms of what they need, principally, they need weaponry -- there are technical vehicles out there, so they need some weaponry to reduce those vehicles. forces haveisil longer range weapon systems, so we need to make sure that the government of iraq and the iraqi security forces are providing longer-range weapons themselves to the kurdish forces. >> how much have we been spending on these attacks, and what account is that money coming from? >> i cannot speak to the accounting of that effort but i will say that we have been able to provide support and meet these tasks with the forces
2:46 pm
already in iraq. beyond the limited scope of this operation, how do you assess the military capabilities throughout iraq and syria? are you concerned about the political conflict in baghdad? there is a new prime minister and current prime minister has refused to step down. do you think this conflict would affect our mission in iraq? >> i am very concerned about the threat posed by isil in iraq and in the region. they are very well organized, very well-equipped, they coordinate their operations, and they have thus far shown the ability to attack on multiple axes. one more question.
2:47 pm
>> my question is, some news reports suggest the white house was caught offguard by isis advancing into northern iraq. with 50-plus surveillance flights every day and assessors on the ground in erbil, why wasn't more advanced notice provided? >> we have been very clear about the threat posed by isil. we have been very consistent about that threat in the region and in iraq. what happened last week was that iraqi security forces simply did not have the equipment and toplies, and the animation sustain their defensive positions around the mosul dam and in and around mount sinjar. it is for that reason that isil were as effective as they were. with that, thank you very much.
2:48 pm
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] >> if you missed any of the pentagon briefing, it's available on the c-span video library shortly at live now to the american institute of certified public accountants, having their conference in washington. senior leaders from the office of management and budget will be talking about key financial management issues and challenges. this is live coverage on c-span.
2:49 pm
2:50 pm
>> hello, everyone. good afternoon. [inaudible] we have three very talented speakers. [inaudible]
2:51 pm
>> welcome, everyone. welcome, everyone. --is is session 10 [inaudible] >> [inaudible] he did a stint at gao. karen's second tour of duty.
2:52 pm
she has a masters degree but is an intern as well. [inaudible] >> thank you for attending our session today. we will be discussing key priorities. i will give you an overview of our object is in financial management. a couple of key initiatives and then we would turn it over to mike and karen. [inaudible] as you can see at the bottom of the slide, the mission is to support the effective and transparent use of federal financial resources. we believe it's imperative that we add value to the use and accountability of these resources and we strive to
2:53 pm
ensure not only do we provide the right guidance but we provide the right balance of guidance. you will see this mission reflected in our objective and our key priorities and in our work in the federal financial management community. we see our work supporting three important objectives. first, improving financial information. these are questions asking how can we improve or rethink the type of information we report and how we report it out to the public. focus on protecting against waste, fraud, and abuse. this is an area where we ask how can we reduce or prevent improper payments, for example. third, finally, we are looking to help agencies maximized their limited resources. in this area, we would ask questions like how can we assist agencies in reducing or
2:54 pm
rightsizing the federal footprint? about one of our key initiatives in financial the office ofng federal financial management, this is a key initiative for us. ask therealm, we question about what we could do to have immediate impact. we went out to the agencies, other stakeholders and asked what we could do to help out in this area, where can we make improvements? the feedback we received was largely around reducing burden. particularly from the agencies. when we are looking at this, we are not just looking at the financial statements. we are looking at financial reporting or broadly. our focus has been on streamlining the process and reducing the burden associated with those elements in the process that are not adding any value. for example, we looked at our
2:55 pm
quarterly reporting in our first quarter statements and seven quarter statements. we found that agencies need to execute their orderly closing process and activities but the actual process of submitting formal statements to omb was not adding any value, but it was a burden that agencies had to incur. so we eliminate this requirement. annual looked at the debt report to omb and this is where agencies have to submit to us annually internal standards and policies they have in place on their debt management. i don't know if you are familiar with the new treasury report on receivables, but they capture this information much better and had information included from the decision-making that we were hoping to have with this report. so we eliminated this requirement as well, to help
2:56 pm
believe that burden and get rid of that duplication. there are a couple of other examples out there, but obviously, this is not the end. we will continue to work with the chief financial officer council to determine if there are other opportunities to better balance utility and burden. we will look at a couple items that i know of right now, and that is, one, component level audit, where we look to approach this from a more risk-based approach versus now we have a bottoms up approach in a lot of the agencies where the agencies are getting audit and it is getting compiled into one audit. possibly we can get some streamlining and deficiencies in this area. howre also going to look at we can better synchronize the agency reporting requirements with the government, reporting requirements. overlaps,ere are some a bit of burden placed on the agencies to fill both of these
2:57 pm
requirements. we think we can find some opportunities to streamline and make it more efficient and hopefully provide more relief to the agencies. the last initiative i will talk about before i turn it over to mike is our benchmarking initiative. for several years, we have had no additional data on the services being provided, not only across agencies, but within an agency as well. however, we have never had a project dedicated to thoroughly examining these differences. we now have the president management council on certain this initiative and the various ciocils are the cfo and the 's, developing key metrics in five mission areas, looking at real property, human resources, financial management, i.t., and procurement. we collected new data points
2:58 pm
across these functions and agencies are currently analyzing that data, identifying areas where they are excelling, identifying areas where they need some strengthening or perhaps you to put some improvements in. so this initiative as part some valuable conversations and has prompted agencies to ask some key important questions, such as how am i comparing to my peer agencies? how am i comparing internally across components? probably most importantly, do i have services that would be good candidates for either consolidation or shared services? services out to other agencies and they can benefit from the efficient process i have in place. as i alluded to, this is something where we are just now focusing, so there will definitely be more to come in the upcoming year, and a lot
2:59 pm
more information for us to report out and hopefully we will have learned a lot of really good ways that we can streamline and be more efficient through the benchmarking efforts. so with that, i will turn it over to mike. he can talk about some of his key priorities. >> thanks, regina. i'd like to start off by saying it's anu to the aicpa, honor to be part of your conference today. my name is mike and i'm here to give you an update on three topics i work on. first, our efforts to implement shared services. second, the latest with improper payments. and finally, a preview of our plans to update omb circular 8123. i will start out with shared
3:00 pm
services. over the past decade, as a federal government, our track record in implementing enterprise resource management systems has been poor. our collective experience has been we have been plagued with schedule delays, cost overruns, and system functionality that never lived up to what it originally promised. in 2010, omb had issued them a a halt to6 to put individual agency financial system implementations and set up a review process where omb would review the risk of each system implementation and either decide to continue these and either decide to continue, to modify, are to stop system implement -- or to stop system implementations. , fortly, we decided to lack of a better word, sawed the freeze on system implementations.
3:01 pm
thawed the freeze on system implementations. the memo has a lot of building blocks that we are putting in place for shared services. for example, it describes the process for how omb is working the treasury to assess the capabilities of our existing shared service providers to identify gaps, and kind of help bolster them. introduces the treasury department as our key partner to reviews agency system implantation plans to make sure that agencies are ready for shared services. in the past, we would have agencies come up and say, we are special, we are unique, we cannot go to a shared service provider. we now have mechanisms in place for the treasury department where we can review requirements and work with agencies to have a back-and-forth and end up with a decision about -- decision memo
3:02 pm
to provide what is best for them. announcedmay 2, we official designations of shared service providers, the folks you see on the screen. three of these were previous writers that you were all familiar with, the department of treasury, interior, and transportation. and then we added a new shared service provider in usda. if you are a federal employee, you may get your paycheck -- because usda is a payroll provider. now they are a new financial management provider for shared services. we are starting to see these policies take hold. , the department of housing and urban development, hud, is working very closely with the treasury department to implement shared services and move to the ministry of resource center. we recognize this is not the
3:03 pm
first time we have chaired chairs services -- shared services, but we are putting in place the building blocks to make sure we are successful here with things that might have gone wrong in the past. from a taxpayer perspective, take your agency hat off, your off.or had off -- had would you rather invest in the people with a track record of being best equipped to implement these shared service providers? or would you rather pay for the same system multiple times over at different agencies? sometimes in visual agencies are not equipped to handle the risk and implement these systems. to support our efforts, shared services has been added as a major plank to the president's management agenda. it is covered in two areas. this describes the shared services initiative that we have
3:04 pm
worked on with shared services agencies, and the second one is the benchmark we just spoke about a few moments ago. the president's management agenda focused -- focuses on three areas, marketplace element, governance, and quick wins. i will tell you about each marketplace development. that is where the federal chairs services -- shared services thatders, those agencies have been around for many years, we are working with them to build the capacity to take on cfo act size agencies. and we are working to figure out how we can partner with the private sector to build our search capacity. we have a federal shared service first policy, but there is definitely a lot of room to engage the private sector. it -- the treasury department has been holding industry days to figure out how we can partner
3:05 pm
with the private sector. and then with governance, i mentioned earlier we had agencies say, o, we are unique and special. we are working on a range of issues where you may have some shared services in a particular department, and then we want to to have acustomers process that is similar, or at least equal to the federal department for shared services. can we implement shared services in smaller capacities rather than waiting for all of these agencies to come through the process echo -- process? we are looking at things like how we can implement electronic in this -- invoices. we still have some agencies that are working with paper invoices and the federal government. how can we work to centralize accounts receivable? so agencies do not have to be
3:06 pm
collectors and we can work with the central capacities that we have. and in the benchmarking effort that regina touched on earlier, omb,is going to provide shared service providers, and agencies to compare our cost and performance against each other and find out where we can make improvements in shared service providers. but then it might find some underperforming area that might help build the case for agencies to migrate to shared services providers. switching gears to improper payments, improper payments continues to be a top priority at omb. not all improper payments are fraud. not all improper payments are a loss to the government. sometimes we have documentation where money didn't go out the door, but someone might have filled out a document not completely. sometimes we have underpayments. but all things aside, we can all agree that improper payments
3:07 pm
degrade the integrity of our government programs and compromise citizen trust in government. over the years, we have had a lot of good experiences in implementing improper payments. the rates were about $40 billion. what we have experienced with the current x -- current administration is when the presence -- when the president took office, we were at about $100 million for the first time, manyhat is due in part to agencies estimating improper payments. we have learned how to do it better. madenotably, hhs estimation improvements in their medicare fee-for-service program. oft might have been a matter the economy, like with the department of labor and unemployment insurance program with the american recovery and investment act. a lot of funding went to increase their outlays in some of the programs were there are a
3:08 pm
large population of beneficiaries being supported during a decline of the economy. we are proud to report that since 2009, thanks to many federal agencies, ig's that are out there, we are making progress against the government wide improper payment problem. we are doing so by the annual inspector general reviews were we have compliance or agency efforts, and that makes our corrective actions stronger. we are learning how to use technology better. i will speak to that in a little bit with the do not pay. we have increased requirements with a high priority programs. we have set up transparency mechanisms, like with the payment accuracy website. you can see a senior official accountable for responsive actions and track the progress. we have much more to be done in this area, but you can see from this chart we are headed in the right direction. high offrom an all-time
3:09 pm
5.4 percent to 3.5 percent. -- 5.4% to 3.5%. we just wanted to show the impact their of that. we are noticing that agencies across the government are making progress in improving proper payments. ,s you go home this afternoon when you are driving home and commuting, if you see one of those buses that is exact and causes all the traffic am i want you to look up and see if you can see an advertisement where the d.c. government is advertising that unemployment insurance fraud is a crime and improper payments are a bad thing. that is due in part to efforts like the department of labor reaching out to state governments, because they are the ones that actually administer our programs. and hhs has done a lot of work with state governments and the health care industry to improve assistance to states to improve
3:10 pm
record-keeping requirements in health care fields. and the social security administration, they have done a number of things to actually be able to go out to banks and ifify people's assets to see they meet eligibility requirements before benefits are paid out. agencies have also made a lot of progress in recovering more than $22 billion through payment recapture audits. let's see. slide, move to the next again, we realize we have a lot more to do with improper payments, and $100 billion is not acceptable from anyone's perspective. we will continue to commit to work mostly with agencies to .ind out the root causes in the first cycle, it was to figure out how to estimate improper payments.
3:11 pm
we are working on a new appendix -- a-123 for corrective actions. the was brought in part by improper payments recovery act, where he would require omb to come up with better .ethodologies for estimation we did not want to just come up with a circular for new guidance. we took it as a chance to totally review our guidance and figure out how to transform our improper payment framework. we kind of created a more unified, comprehensive, and less burdensome set of requirements for agencies. wered a number of things there were these one-time requirements that cluttered up the guidance to clean it out. there might have been duplicate of requirements where and ig had to do two things and in the senior official had to do
3:12 pm
similar things and we combined them in the agency's financial reports. we had two things that were caught aside by the law. these were things that we were already doing, like supplemental measures. we did not want to do these things just for compliance purposes. at omb, we took a number of new initiatives. this new guidance includes very detailed categorization of improper payments. we can get to better recall as is. right now, we know we have about $100 billion in under and overpayments. but the new taxonomy of root causes where we want to unbundle million, we want to see how much is due to root causes were the government check an individual to see, or the government was able to check financial data. how much of that $100 billion is due to simple administrative affairs between federal and state governments, documentation errors, and how much of that $100 billion is due to a program design issue that can only be
3:13 pm
fixed by an act of congress. we are also reducing internal controls over improper payments. these new internal control standards are not improve -- not intended to be a not it or a documentation exercise, but a kind of roadmap of best practices and control activities that you can put in place with your improper payment program. we are building these new categories and these control standards will help us get at the causes better. it will help us focus our government wide strategies better. pay, i update on do not mentioned earlier we have been usesed on how we can technology to prevent improper payments and that is specified by the do not pay initiative. the goal of the initiative is to use data matching and predictive analytics to stop improper payments before they occur. the law that i mentioned earlier, i.
3:14 pm
those are on the lower left-hand side of the screen where agencies are now required to check for deceased individuals. agencies are required to check the excluded parties list. so we are not making payments to suspended or debarred contractors. we had to check the debt database to make sure we are not making payments to those who may owe a debt to the government. and most recently with the current budget agreement, the bipartisan budget act of 2013 added a new database. butwas not in iperia, modified through the new budget process. they introduced a new database called the prisoners update where the system, federal government now has the capability to check that we are not paying prisoners that are incarcerated.
3:15 pm
to fulfill these requirements, we have taken a number of significant steps will stop we have submitted to congress a plan for how we plan to implement all of these databases. -- a reportitted up to congress to show how we will work with ssa to improve the quality around the debt master plan. we have minimize the false positives, or where it payment should have been made. and then we figured out how to work with the privacy act. looking, folks say the privacy act has been around since the nixon administration. we put guidance out around the privacy act that shows if you follow these procedures, there is a way to expedite these computer matching agreements so we can get access to the data that we need to prevent improper payments. and most significantly, you can see on the very top of the screen that since june of last year, the do not pay initiative, we have been focusing on the
3:16 pm
, because that has been highlighted as -- by congress as a pretty major point of interest. and now the treasury department on a monthly basis, they can run do not pay against all payments processed out of the treasury department, going about 83 million payments in a given month, totaling about $152 billion on a monthly basis. and all cfo act agencies are now looking at these hits that they get back to investigate whether or not they have made an improper payment. , thehing we have noted federal government does not pay as many deceased individuals as one would think. we have learned there are valid reasons. you might be a veteran that has passed, but it flows to the family. or there might be other reasons where that was a proper payment
3:17 pm
and should have been made. one last thing we are working on , you can see on the lower right-hand side of the screen, the improper payment agency cooperation enhancement act. congress has a new law for improper payments. again, this is focused on the debt master file to put revisions in place for the social security act, so we can make sure all agencies have a debt master file. i should've mentioned this earlier, but the debt master file that we have at the treasury department is a partial file. it is not a full file. now we have legislation that congress is considering where it will provide access through the treasury department's do not pay system to ensure that we have the full range of get eta -- debt data available to us. that complements many things that we have in the president's budget process. on our, i will touch
3:18 pm
plans to update omb circular a -123. in the past year, we've been working closely with gao as they update the green book. just for background, this is all the federalrom managers financial integrity act , which requires gao to set the standards for internal controls, and then omb to seven implementation guidance -- to set implementation guidance. -- ombhat through embeds circular a-100 23. this is the first time we've done this since 2004. began workanuary, we to develop an initial working draft. our understanding is that gao is just about done with the green book update. we will be able to come right behind them with the new version to a-123.
3:19 pm
we do not want to just do this for compliance purposes. we want to use this as an opportunity to figure out how to internal controls as a value-added for program managers, how we can value things for a risk-based approach, and not just checking the boxwood appendix a, appendix c, appendix d, and so on. the three major areas that will probably be these -- the major theme of our update, we will probably be doing things to provide guidance out of gao, but we want to revise this circular to clean up the technical jargon that is in internal controls. you have all of these complicated topics like test of , etc. materiality i don't know if a folks here have been in internal control manager, but when you go to a program manager and you start talking like that, you lose them
3:20 pm
instantly. we want to take the technical we will havend references where you can go to the standards to find out more detailed information. we really want to put a document out there that is more accessible to program managers to help them with the operations. and secondly, we are going to introduce the government to enterprise risk management as a best practice. our hope there is that it will help us believe compliance burdens. i mention there are many boxes you have to check. your risk do assessment process right up front and it is holistic, you do not have to checkbox on everything. you can do it based on risk and things that make sense to you. and we have noticed a must -- a troubling trend recently in agencies, you know, we can all relate to the muffin memo of a
3:21 pm
couple of years ago. and the conferences that we could not go to for a certain. of time. -- a certain timeframe. and the veterans administration, where we had some veterans that were not able to get access to health services and it was a life-and-death situation. in all of the situations, we had agency heads either step down or lose their jobs over this, very similar to what you hear about with sarbanes-oxley and the private sector that led to the financial reporting reforms. we will provide new tools for enterprise risk management in the circular to help agencies better manage their risks and also as a way to help reduce our compliance burdens. finally, i will touch on this briefly. toen, i think you are going get into transparency and a little more detail. we are going to evolve internal controls the on financial reporting. -- hasal reporting is probably been one of our most
3:22 pm
successful initiatives. we have 23 of the 24 agencies that have clean financial statement audits. we don't want to do anything to damage or hurt our financial reporting processes. we want to figure out the best way to build on them, so we can provide assurance on data quality, on things like usa spending, and other forms of reporting. that is important to management. we have plans to take appendix a 123 off so we can focus on data quality and reporting. and then the body of the circular will remain. and we will provide updates for the gao standards and some of the things i touched on today. with that, thank you for your time and i will turn things over to karen.
3:23 pm
>> good afternoon, everyone. i know this is probably a difficult time for a presentation after all of the high caloric snacks have been ingested and your coming down off of your high. but thanks so much to audrey and the opportunity for us to talk about all of our priorities and the road ahead at financial management. audrey mentioned, and i think purposely so, my background as not being a cpa. being slightly a fish out of water in this forum, and i acutely knowing i do not have the technical expertise of the accounting profession, wanted to frame up for you why some of the areas of work we have begun to pursue within omb and our financial management spectrum does have relevancy to the other disciplines. at the end of the day, financial management as we have seen in the past couple of years has become an interdisciplinary sport.
3:24 pm
financial management has become the ways through which program management can improve our use of resources, and maximize the use of limited resources. it can be the way in which we identify opportunities to minimize waste, fraud, and abuse, and it can be the way we use financial information to inform decision-making. despite my lack of background in accounting, hopefully you will take what i say in kind and use this information for our priorities governmentwide to track governmentwide opportunities. first and foremost, federal spending transparency. this area has been a burgeoning area of work to my frankly, since 2009, as we walked through our history in providing first recovery act reporting dollars online in a way that is usable ,nd functional, and versatile
3:25 pm
to where we are today with data act implementation. as we talk about the road ahead, i would like to take a moment to walk back and look at the road we traveled. it really is informing where we are going. many of you know and have worked on the recovery act. in 2009, a bar was set under the recovery act implementation that the american people, the world, should know where the dollars go, to whom, for what purpose, and how much. as aly, so we can use nation -- have that information and understand what impact we've had. the recovery act, through the leadership of the recovery board , has put together a very usable website called how many of you have gone to that website?
3:26 pm
ok, a fair number. in that website, what you will have found in the recovery act, you would have found a very user-friendly, visual way what the american government has spent of the taxpayer dollars. and you would have seen a very easy interface of who got the money, where the money meant -- went, and for what purpose. we only began shortly thereafter to understand the impact of this information. from states and localities, from recipients, and from the market that this information was useful to understand not only where the money went and what impact we are having with that money, but also more importantly, how we can best allocate those dollars moving forward to achieve some of those same good government results -- reducing poverty, improving health care, addressing children's needs at
3:27 pm
elementary and secondary schools. since our first days of the recovery act, we began to realize the power and -- power of this information and use that to improve what is, for example, , across the government, across appropriation types for all federal awards, grants, contracts, loans, other financial us -- assistance. both the awards made by the federal government and through the federal government to what recipient." b trail,we have walked the we have found that the information itself, we constantly want to improve it, and we want to improve the quality of the data, the completeness of the data, the functionality and most importantly, the utility.
3:28 pm
but over and above all of this, we want to use this information to inform our business process. this, informean by how the government does its business, taking into account all the stakeholders who have partnered with us to achieve the same exact outcome. the power of the information that is on usaspending -- that is on usa spending and on an, the power is is in how you use it. how many of you have smartphones? just about every hand here is up. and what is the value of the smartphone? it is not the telephone. the value of a smartphone is, perhaps in the e-mail, or the text messaging. one of the values of the smartphone is the innovative applications. the interface is that we used to do what?
3:29 pm
to synthesize the millions of data points relevant to where that application is and help you make a decision. applications that you may have on your phone, real estate yourcations where to find next home, applications to identify roads so you could get your next, or to destination. applications to order your next burrito. applications take an inordinate amount of data and bring it together in a very usable way. our next iterations of usa spending through the data act are intended to get us to that place. let's first get the data out there. that is the point of our work spending, our ongoing work as we move forward in implementing the data act, which in essence, imparts as to expand the amount of data on there. so let's just get the data. let's get those figures.
3:30 pm
let's get that information on a website. but number two, we want to make sure that information is of good quality. just like your applications on your smartphone, if the thingsing data of where are is not correct, the application is useless. let's make sure we have not only information available, but it is of high quality. and as we move forward on usa spending, we have begun work to assure the quality of our usa spending data. the data act recently passed in only askss year not us to expand the data on usa spending, but also improve the quality. and to improve the quality through what is dubbed data standards. a very general way to talk about data definitions, data taxonomy. so that when you get that , allmation on usa spending of the data is consistent.
3:31 pm
you use one word and it means the same thing everywhere, every time. getting ahead, beyond all the data on usa spending and then getting a high quality data, then getting to the place where you can use it. a big conundrum. who will use usa spending? of course, the answer is, everybody. just like your burrito application, or your homefinder application, or your gps. anybody can use that. and the makers of those applications could not forecast all of the different stakeholders who would. but at the end of the day, the goal of the applications, to find a burrito or your next home, for usa spending data, it is transparency in federal initiatives. at the end of the day, the outcome is to make a better decision. it doesn't matter who makes the decision. it is what decisions can be made
3:32 pm
out of that data that can inform policymakers, program managers, auditors, accountants, lawyers, folks on the hill. it doesn't matter the who, but that the outcome is the same. as we move forward on federal spending transparency to expand the data, improve the quality of the data, the real pot of gold we are looking toward is to modify our business practices to use this data to inform decisions. get the platform for this data in a way that people can use -- easily use it, access it among and integrate that information to make better decisions. that is the road that we are headed down with transparency. it is fundamentally changing, we hope, eventually how we do business, and in large part, improving how we use financial data to make those decisions. alongside our work on federal spending transparency,
3:33 pm
extraordinarily transformative work done in federal grants management. to look back at the road traveled here, and in speaking to one of the three areas that regina highlighted in our path on financial management, reducing waste, fraud, and abuse, our program management came from the core of two places. one is, grants comprised of over $600 billion in federal spending . if we don't look at how we can better manage those dollars, we are at risk of waste, fraud, and abuse. we need to get serious about how we manage our grants, and how we best target our identification of risk to reduce that waste, fraud, or potential abuse. second, though, and grants -- in grants management has been our desire to reduce recipient burden. why?
3:34 pm
ofs goes to the third tier our three-pronged approach in financial management, which is to maximize use of our limited resources. grant, by their very nature, are the way through which the federal government can have a longer reach him making an impact -- in making an impact through the federal agencies themselves. that is to say, through our federal dollars, by awarding our federal dollars to third parties, we are able to touch and feel the american people, those we are trying to affect a broad as well, in a way that is bigger, broader, and more agencyul than any human can do, given its scope. and from those $600 billion, we heard that many of those funds had been spent on reporting back to the federal government or accountability and oversight purposes. the purpose is sound. we want to make sure we can account for every one of those dollars and that those dollars are used effectively and not wasted, not used fraudulently,
3:35 pm
or abused. time, there are opportunities to right size and streamline that burden. try to do isy thread the needle through a very small hole, which is how you can --ance the almost completing competing conflicting goals of better management and stronger oversight over our clients dollars, but reducing the reporting burden, the information that you have in order to do that. and how can you illuminate duplicate it and conflicting guidance in order to achieve that goal? whereas this -- as this points out, it has led to many state, local, and other recipients to pull out because they do not know how they are supposed to -- to pull their hair out because they do not know how they are supposed to interact with the federal government. the way we came to a conclusion of how to do this, in large part because of work with stakeholders like you and all of
3:36 pm
the other grant recipients and stakeholders out there, the way we ended up eating able to thread that needle was to come up with a grant reforms that about -- set of operating principles that can do just that, balance the seemingly conflicting goals of reducing waste, fraud, and reduce -- and abuse, and reduce recipient reporting. there were a challenges that we detailied in deeper coming out of our grants guidance. the biggest one, i think, for this audience that was of interest was the high level of administrative burden that complemented the need for better oversight and accountability. what we did in our new uniform guidance that we issued this past december, 2013 in this space is we said, look, instead
3:37 pm
of checking the boxes, instead of having a set of compliance requirements that have individual recipients, organizations, or others attest to things, let's think differently. let's think about what the outcome is of our work here. what is the ultimate outcome of our grants dollars? it is not to have compliance dollars and to know where every single dollar went, but to make an impact. to make an impact in the school district, to those health care providers, to the roads and bridges that exist out there. in our new grants reform guidance, our uniform guidance i was issued this past winter, we stressed performance of our compliance. in -- performance of internal controls over accountability. compliant as opposed to account ability. at the end of the day, what that means is that you have complied
3:38 pm
with the spirit of the intent of the requirements and it's not just a checkbox. our working grant requirement is not and knowing you have reported key direct and indirect costs. it ends when we know you have achieved the results or intention of the grant award, be it providing services to conducting research that may or may not have been successful, or otherwise. as we move forward in our grants were, we know the road ahead is probably the most difficult. because while we have established the policies governmentwide in a framework that we hope will transform grants management, the real work is now. the real work is now and over the next five years of taking those words inside the beltway that we have all now come to know and transform those words that a replicable, institutionalized, and translate where we see results.
3:39 pm
and over the next couple of months, we are working in large part now with federal agencies to finalize their implementing regulations. following on the 2013 omb requirement guidance, a requirement to adopt the omb requirements into their regulatory framework. those requirements will be released in december of this year. and on the date of the release, those consolidated regulations come our grants management policies will be made effective for all grants awarded. move forward over the next couple of months, there is a lot --work to do to develop the those set the framework. and our work will be, one, and those requirements, and number two, establishing and collecting data metrics to evaluate whether or not we have
3:40 pm
done what we hoped we achieved. pivoting over to real property, which may seem like something out of left field only talk about financial management, but in fact, i think as we think about more and more about financial management, real property is probably one of those core activities that has always existed, but now has its time to shine. and it is time -- and it's time has come about because of limited financial resources, as well as just having such a different way of doing business now, and in the future. ago, omb with the federal real property community, identified a very simple problem , which is that we, the federal government, did not know how much real property space we had.
3:41 pm
what or those assets that we owned across the federal government can physical assets that we sat in? sorry for the pun. and --h do we end on it spend on it and how do we use it? and what is the result of those dollars? instance, the question was one of the senses. let's get accounting of all of those pieces of real property? where are they? who fits in them? and how utilized are they? since then, the question has ourred to -- how much of federal real property space is actually used? because then the question presented is, well, gosh, if we spend a lot of money in real property and it is not well used property, could we stay as a disciplinary management system? from a property
3:42 pm
management perspective. this translates into dollars. if we can use those dollars not on real property and put them into mission, we will all be better off by improving our performance and use of property, as well as achieving the mission more effectively. two years ago, omb released up proper -- a policy called free the footprint. , i the policy in retrospect think, was very straightforward and perfectly aligned for the time we were in. the goal of free the footprint , as a federal government, just like our shared services memo from a couple of years ago, the direction to federal agencies was, "please do not choir new space." and from a real property management perspective, it was very straightforward. we are not going to bring on new property. from a program and departmental
3:43 pm
perspective, however this policy was a transformative. is becauseson why from a federal government perspective, from a program perspective, the question was no longer "what new space do you want?" "what newon was, space do you need to support your mission in the most effective way?" and by asking the question differently, we fundamentally began to change about how we think about real property and the financial management of real property. and freeze the footprint, what we found over the first year of implementation agencies he challenged to freeze their footprints by 2013, agencies rose to that challenge. and in fact, not just froze their footprint, but reduce their footprint by about 10 million square feet. as we are working with agencies to determine the impact of those
3:44 pm
10 million square feet, we are thinking more and more about how we continue our charge of real property. and that is to say, not just freeze, but hopefully reduce, pull together we hope to be a national lasting strategy, to encourage agencies and give them opportunity to be able to dispose, consolidate, or co-locate their federal real and hopefully save money. and most importantly, improve performance. i stress that last point. as we move into the next decade of our federal workforce, we know that the workforce does things differently. we see that now. and we will continue to see that moving forward. our next generation of workforce will not sit behind desks as we have traditionally done. they will not necessarily use telephones to transact is this. they are much more mobile.
3:45 pm
they are much more nimble in terms of how they achieve and reach decisions and use technology to collaborate and coordinate. as we think about that new inkforce, our challenge federal real property and as financial managers in the federal government space is to think about how we can use those assets best, and how we can take the funds that we may not need and reorient them, hopefully for the mission. as we bring together the end of our omb discussion today, i think what -- just coming back to our three prongs of work in our road ahead in financial management, improving financial information, we do sing -- reducing waste, fraud, and abuse, and maximizing federal resources. federale thinking about
3:46 pm
real property as a tool through which we can be managing our federal government mission, programs, and effectively, the outcomes of all of our work. thank you very much for the opportunity to speak today. than happy,re more very excited, to hear any questions you may have. [applause] >> a round of applause for the panel. are in our queue and the -- q and a session right now. we have received one question so far from the audience. if you have more, we'll be right down to take them. the erskine, i think, mike will be addressing. -- the first question, i think, mike will be addressing. >> the question from the audience is -- what has been omb's experience with cfos,
3:47 pm
embracing the external data reporting requirement, and are official, or have other agencies been designated? karen, do you want to touch on this? in reading the question on external data reporting requirements, our experience with cfo has been that they are really excited about the opportunity. one cfo even said that the did -- data act has been transformative to the financial management community. it is fundamentally changing how we are thinking about financial management and management of financial information and amenities in that program for -- and the agencies in that program. this is an incredible
3:48 pm
transformation in the financial management community. in terms of our interaction and engagement with all the other communities out there in addition to our technology communities, also our performance communities, procurement communities, and otherwise. federal spending transparency and the additional data reporting that is now ongoing across the federal government brings together necessarily all of those communities together, and really, for this reason. as -- no longer as you put it out on public reporting websites, no longer can use it in your silos and look at procurement, grants, i.t. performance, but instead, it looked -- a public facing resource demands that there is a linkage across all of those communities. increased data, increased data analytics and synthesis, and increased data to
3:49 pm
used and drive decision, all of these communities come together. it is an excellent opportunity for us to bring financial management tools to prayer -- to bear on our broader outcomes. >> that will be a major theme coming out of the new 8-1 hundred 23. as you look at the existing circular and you read the first -- of the new a-123. as you look at the existing circular, it did not always used to be that way. i think of my own experiences. we had abouthink 10 material weaknesses. 10 wereu, nine out of things that were beyond financial reporting, having to work with asset manager on doing inventories of water bottles at fema, how to work with a grants officer to figure out how to do
3:50 pm
a grand cowrite. cowrite. this is also something coming out of gao with their new control standards. we are all the leader with the internal controls over financial reporting. the new standard is internal controls over reporting. that includes external, internal, financial, nonfinancial. it is something we will all have to embrace. and figure out how to evolve. some of theal, like risk management areas i touched on, and some of the things we will bring about with enterprise risk management is that you've got to look beyond your silo of just financial management or financial reporting. if you don't, information will bubble up and the risk will bubble up, and we have some of these challenges we mentioned earlier. >> let me take this one. the question is, when you speak you are performance,
3:51 pm
referring to delivering goods and services. what is being done to measure goods ort of those services on the root problem of the issue, regarding the root from of the issue? that is a good question. grant guidance speaks to addressing and reducing waste, fraud, and abuse, speaks to read do sing -- reducing recipient burden, but also maximizing performance and compliance. i would like to allow more supposedly -- more explicitly the work basedth mission across the agency. as we have thought about how to frame performance, which is a very amorphous concept, especially as you look at -- across the grant portfolio. ofre is an ordinance amount
3:52 pm
-- an inordinate amount of recipients and outcomes. it is impossible to conclude there is one kind of performance or one way of measuring performance. instead, we ended up doing in our grants reform guidance to emphasize performance was to speak from grant programs ways in which to leverage methods proven effective to achieve goals. in itsally is embodied best crystallization in omb's memorandum on grantmaking. the intention of evidence-based grantmaking is at the end of the day to improve methodologies and and use those tohodologies and research inform the grants. and hopefully, we are improving
3:53 pm
the achievement of the outcome goals. is not athis government wide area for standardization. the uniform guidance does not speak to identifying specific performance measures for a specific award. todoes outline a framework hopefully help agencies craft programs, program announcements, and award applications so that prospective grantees frame up the way in which they would like to use their grants in using evidence-based methodologies and practices we know work and encourage those moving forward. [whispering] >> a little bit, yes. the question here is the new omni circular. been named the super circular. most resuming, named uniform
3:54 pm
grant guidance. ."so known as the "ugh it talks about the controls in the reliability officers. whomever the questioner is, if you want to add to this, we are happy to add. the uniform grant guidance endeavors on internal controls to bring together the work that agencies have done at the agency level and bring it to the grant level. it uses the internal structure and framework and makes sure that the program that we apply those principles to grants. in terms of the specific versus program duty, i'm not sure exactly what the specific question for clarification is. i don't know if the person who
3:55 pm
asked the question wants to clarify. yes? [inaudible] has been across two lines. in is going to allow that the omb guidance? if i'm making a judgment on one end, and i'm the accountant, but i'm not the , i'm going to be concerned that i'm saying that is allowable because of items 22 or whatever. and then someone comes back to me and says, wait a minute, you signed off as the allowability officer. that is just opening up liability, or pointing of fingers as to who is responsible. >> for those who may not have heard it, but -- the clarification is in particular
3:56 pm
for school district's in how you frame up the role of the accountability officer and what liability you are assuming when you take that role based on the assurance you give. and that is a really great question. from annoying be perspective, we are waiting to hear -- we are currently reviewing in this case the department of education to see how they would want to implement this particular provision. if there is any issue all -- any additional guidance from their perspective. their question is a good one. the goal is to make sure there give andividual who can attestation of internal controls. but your question with school district's, i think, maybe more appropriately addressed by the department of education as they think about implementing the regulation. >> if anyone did not have any more, i have a few of my own.
3:57 pm
for regina, just a clarification for reducing the burden for streamlining. i believe i heard porter one and porter two, you know longer have to do that. quarter three? three, we did have to use that one, and as it turns out most agencies use quarter three to start their year-end audit. to keep that requirement, particularly to help the government wide financial report. the department of treasury is taking the quarterly statements from the agencies and from time atnotes at this third quarter. this was to do two things, one was, to help the government wide and for those in helping produce the audits.
3:58 pm
>> and also, as far as make that alsoto still required to it is required for quarter and year-end, but not for first and second financial statements. >> one other. they did not come up, but i'm curious for my own edification, and scheduled spending my think that is possibly still ongoing. -- in scheduled spending, i think that is possibly still ongoing. management of financial reporting. i know now that will likely link up the cousin of the data act. could you give us a tiny update on that? >> it is still part of other information, so it is limited in its audit scrutiny. i believe it is mainly the it isrs have to make sure
3:59 pm
not conflicting with anything else in the statement. and if they know something that is not correct, they have to bring it to management's attention. we are maintaining it in a lie --in oi. it is still experimental. we did not do a lot with it this year the cubs we are still working to see what pieces work well and what did not. member, but if your we did a big overhaul of the scheduled spending last year into the scheduled format that it is now. act and down the data what usa spending is going to do and what not to my think that will inform and shape what the scheduled -- the spending schedule will look like. theill be in flux for maybe next year or two. >> thank you. i just have a little question for you, mike , concerning the
4:00 pm
update ofa-123. you are talking about the a, and i for appendix wonder if there are updates i see the effort is now going to be on financial reporting and operations as i'll hold. -- as a whole. as of right now we have no plans for new appendices. we have our work cut out for us for alle the main body, the things coming out of gao. around enterprise risk management, but we thought that involved internal controls.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on